​Recently Hays Recruitment surveyed 430 Payroll Managers and conducted in-depth interviews with two employers and one Payroll Manager. From qualifications and experience to personal development and work/life balance, their report gives you an insight into what it takes to make the top job in payroll. 
Background & qualifications
Payroll Managers are typically women who started their career in another field before moving into payroll. They therefore possess a wide range of qualifications, and value on-the-job learning and practical experience. Just 43% of our respondents have always worked in payroll.
It takes time and experience to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become a Payroll Manager. Two-thirds of respondents held at least three roles before becoming a Payroll Manager.
48% say attention to detail is the most important skill needed to be a good Payroll Manager. This is followed closely by communication skills (43%) and prioritising deadlines (26%). When looking at the final list, ‘soft’ skills dominate.
Personal characteristics
Over half (53%) Payroll Managers sited professionalism as the top characteristic that has helped them succeed, followed by approachability (39%).
Career achievements
 Successful system implementations were by far the biggest achievement listed by our surveyed Payroll Managers, but also their greatest professional challenge for the coming 12 months.
Career challenges
Everyone needs to deal with organisational politics from time to time. Payroll Managers are no different, with 47 per cent saying that organisational politics has been a challenge for them in their career.
Career development
Encouragingly, over half (56%) say that if they had their time all over again, they would still choose the profession, and most (43%) would like to stay in their current post. Almost all (92%) would recommend a career in payroll.
Interests & work-life balance
Outside of work Payroll Managers like to socialise with friends and family (80%) and remain active, with 52% playing sport or exercise and 45% enjoying travel.
Source – https://www.hays.net.nz/payroll-manager/